Thank You Roxbury!
Last week, we concluded our experiment in art and community at Bartlett Yard. While the art and events were temporary, we hope that their impacts on the community will be long-lasting.
The three organizers, pictured above, were Mark Matel, Jeremy Alliger, and Jason Turgeon. Together, we worked for more than a year to pull the project together. While it was challenging and frustrating at times, it was also incredibly rewarding. We vastly exceeded our goals of building community and getting engagement in the site, and in the process we discovered that Boston has a world-class street art scene just waiting for a venue to show off its many and diverse talents.
We have now officially finished our work on the site. We have pulled down many of the garage door coverings, removed most of our equipment, and had our goodbye party. All we have left to do is say thank-you.
With the hundreds of people who were involved in pulling this together, it is almost a certainty that we will miss someone. Our apologies in advance - it isn't intentional!
Thank you to Jeremy Alliger for saying yes when asked to "do something fun at a vacant lot in Roxbury," and for never backing out when the going got tough.
Thank you to Mark Matel for seeing the potential in the project and bringing it to the development team, and for sticking with it until the end.
Thank you to David Price, Arnold Johnson, George Chin, and the entire team at Nuestra Comunidad and Windale for saying yes when two strangers cold-called you to ask if we could use your space, for your initial financial support, and for your continued support throughout the year.
Thank you to our funding organizations: the Awesome Foundation, Black Rock Arts Foundation, New England Foundation for the Arts, and Enterprise Community Partners. Please don't stop funding innovative, small scale art projects - the world needs more funders like you willing to take a chance on new projects!
Thank you to YouthBuild for signing on to be our first and strongest community partner, and especially to Michael Chavez, Jessica Tones, and Ariel Stokes for all your work. And a huge thank you to the YouthBuild and Designery students who designed and built our benches, tables, and wayfinding around the site.
Thank you to our partners at HarborArts for collaborating with us all summer, and for laying the groundwork for large-scale outdoor art in Boston.
Thank you to City Councillor John Connolly for helping us push through permitting difficulties early on, to Christopher Cook for your early and enthusiastic support, and to the staff in Commissioner Malone's office and 1010 Mass Ave. for making sure we got what we needed week after week. Now let's figure out a way to make it easier for all of us next time.
Thank you to the dozens of neighbors and Northeastern University community engagement volunteers who came out to help us clean up the site over 3 weekends in April and beyond.
Thank you to Greg Burdett and the whole crew at Artists for Humanity for your services and support, and for coming out to make great art on the site!
Thank you to Nate Swain for signing on early to be our first artist, for delivering on your promise of jaw-dropping wall coverings, and for all your help sourcing materials and keeping the site safe over the summer.
Thank you to Mass Art Professor Candice Ivy and her two drawing classes for jumping on board early and for helping us get off the ground with some great artwork early on.
Thank you to Chris and Kai Grant, Victoria Nadel, Allen Bush, and all of the other neighbors who supported us from start to finish.
Thank you to Boston Burning Man community for coming together around another piece of awesome and helping in innumerable ways. You know who you are, and you continue to inspire and amaze.
Thank you to Lino Delgado and the Floorlords for all your help. We can't wait to see what you do in the next three decades!
Thank you to the organizers of the dozen events we held after Mural Fest, each of which showed a different facet of the community.
Thank you to our three summer volunteers, Blake Jurasin, Corinna D'Schoto, and Diana Walsh, for your tireless efforts to keep this thing moving and your endless optimism and enthusiasm. You guys were amazing!
Thank you to the incredible outpouring of support from the artists who made the space what it is. Incredibly enough, there have been over 100 artists on the site - far too many of you to list individually, but you know who you are. We love what you've done with the place! You made an indelible impact on the neighborhood and the city and we hope that this leads to more opportunities for each of you.
Even though we can't possibly thank all the artists, we do want to give a special shout-out to Cedric Douglas, Barrington Edwards, Liz Manicatide, Deme 5, Ge Ortega, Merk Those, Jeanne Williamson, Rufus Faulk, and Carolyn Lewenberg. We saw you there at the site week after week making improvements, doing new work, helping out, and keeping an eye on things. We appreciate everything you did!
Thank you to the neighbors of the site for supporting us and, to so many of you for getting involved in ways big and small to make this a success.
And last but certainly not least, the biggest thank you of all to Brook Levine-Adler, the unofficial 4th partner, for everything!